Mortality from a bite by a Northern Black Widow is about 1% of all victims, with most of those fatalities being small children. Any bite from a Northern Black Widow merits a visit to a physician as it is difficult to gauge how toxic the spider's venom is at the time of the bite and how the individual will respond to it. (i.e. A spider that recently emptied venom into an insect will have less venom in a bite soon after that.) All bite victims experience pain immediately and it increases in intensity for hours afterward. It usually subsides in a day. Other symptoms include sweating, fever, nausea, rapid heart rate and weakness. A physician can help ease the immediate discomfort a victim feels and monitor the patient for other symptoms.
This species of spider forms tangled, messy webs in woodlands, stone and wood piles and undisturbed corners of sheds, garages and other shelters outside. They are not aggressive and do not actively seek to bite people. They are shy and more apt to try and hide. If startled or threatened, which can happen when a person suddenly turns over the log or stone they are on, they bite in defense. Sightings of this species is somewhat rare as they are active at night and less likely to be seen. If spotted, treat them as a dangerous spider and keep your distance.